This module has examined the influence of social policies on public health. The end of module assessment is the opportunity to bring much of what we have studied together. In week 1 we learned about some of the key concepts in social policy and how some of these are also very important for public health (for example, inequality or poverty). In week 2 we examined the historical development of the welfare state and reflected on the impact it had on public health. In week 4 we examined the social determinants of health and established the importance of social policies in mediating their effects on public health. In week 5 we examined how different types of welfare state (welfare state regimes) have different effects on public health. In later weeks (6-8) we explored the influence of health care systems and international institutions on social policy. This assignment enables you to reflect on many aspects of this material and see how it links together.
(A) 2500 Word Assignment (30% Total Module Grade).
Both the assessment of how healthy an individual country is, and how patterns of health and provision of services differ between countries, has been discussed within the module. For example, within the UK, life expectancy for men in a deprived district such as Glasgow is 12 years less than for men in prosperous Surrey. And the type of services and approaches to welfare provision differ greatly between, say, the USA and Sweden. Developed and developing countries also have very noticeable underlying differences with regard to public health and provision.
Using relevant examples from at least 3 countries or regions, critically examine how social policy influences and explains:
(i) health within countries
(ii) health between countries
The aim of the IP is to relate the theories, concepts and models of social policy discussed in the module to either specific countries as a case study, or a more general overview. Credit will be given for critical analysis and application of theories of social policy, not the reproduction of statistical or factual information
This assignment draws on the topics we studied in weeks, 12, 2, 4 and 5, and it builds on the work we have done in our previous HAs. However you may also draw on the material covered in weeks 6-8. There are two parts to the question: 1. to discuss health within countries (this could be, for example, by area or by socio-economic status) and the influence of social policy in this, and 2. to compare health between countries and how differences in social policy may explain this. The expectation is that answers will cover both of these parts. For part 12, the readings on the social determinants of health (week 4) will be particularly useful. For part 2, the readings on welfare state regimes and material looking at ideological and political differences relating to welfare provision will be most helpful (week 5). The key concepts examined in week 1 provide a useful background as does the historical overview of week 2. Answers may reflect on the influence of social policies in your own country although some reference to the UK and/or other developed countries is also required. Ideally, answers should focus primarily on theories, concepts and models of social policy related to both health within and between countries.
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